Error discovered in calculation of turnout
Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 6, 2015
NATCHEZ — Adams County’s voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election was actually better than election officials initially reported.
Election officials Tuesday night said only 24.3 percent of voters cast ballots. However, the actual turnout number was closer to 50 percent.
Of Adams County’s 19,319 registered voters, 9,370 voters cast ballots, or 48.5 percent.
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Circuit Clerk Eddie Walker, who was re-elected to his position Tuesday night, said the discrepancy was the result of a mathematical error due to how computers calculated the total number of registered voters.
That error seems to be the biggest glitch on election night.
Election Commissioner Evelyn H. Smith said, despite the unexpected absence of Election Commission Chairman Larry Gardner, the election went off without a hitch.
“It went quite well,” Smith said.
Gardner, who happened to be in Jackson with his wife, Karen, who was undergoing a procedure to have a pacemaker installed, suffered what she characterized as a “slight heart attack” on Sunday.
He underwent a procedure to have stints placed in the arteries of his heart on Monday morning. Gardner underwent an additional procedure to control his heartbeat on Wednesday afternoon.
“He talked to Mitch Ballard (a former election commissioner) and told him, ‘Mitch, you’re going to have to take over,’” Karen Gardner said.
Walker said the county’s election commission did an excellent job.
“Larry Gardner is an integral part of this election business,” Walker said. “He knows his job and does it exceptionally well. But we have a great election commission, who did a great job. It’s a pleasure to have them and a pleasure to work with.”
Voters cast ballots at one new precinct location Tuesday. The county’s District 1 Bellemont Precinct, which has typically voted at the former Natchez Elks Lodge, voted at Crosspoint Church on Highland Boulevard.
“It was a little crowded in the parking lot. Some of that was due to candidates and their helpers. Other than that, it apparently went very well there. We are grateful to have the location. It’s a great location. I think it’s going to be good for us and good for them,” Walker said.